Yesterday Plastic Logic demoed their upcoming eReader on All Things D conference.
Here’s a summary of features that were announced so far:
- OS: Windows CE
- PC OS Supported: Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS
- Size: 8.5″ x 11″ x 0.25″
- Weight: less than 16 oz
- Screen Size: ~10″ touchscreen active eInk
- Connectivity: USB, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
- Battery life: “days, not hours”
- Formats supported: PDF, DOC(X), XLS(X), PPT(X), TEXT, RTF, HTML, JPEG, PNG, BMP, ePub, eReader Format
- DRM: undisclosed at the moment
- Release date: 2010 Q1
- Price: undisclosed at the moment
Some highlights from the video:
- Device is geared towards business users rather than eBook readers.
- Documents are organized into folders called binders.
- Documents can be scribbled on, annotated and highlighted using touch screen. Nice feature is partial screen refresh.
Verdict: at the moment prospects of this device seem mediocre at best. There are no strong indicators that would show it will be successful as eBook reader. Mainly because nothing is yet known about book store which was crucial to Kindle’s success. As for business documents while this device is good for reading and annotating, I doubt that it will provide good experience for editing and creating new documents. This would be important for business users. While battery life that is “days, not hours” is important for business people on the go, there are notebooks available today that can go 6-8 hours on a single charge and run full-featured version of Microsoft Office. 6-8 hours is more than enough for most users. By the time Plastic Logic will release their product battery technology would have improved and this advantage would diminish even more.
Overall it seems that many companies were inspired by success of Kindle and Sony eReader and decided to jump into what seems to be a promising market. But you can’t expect to succeed just because market is great and growing fast and you offer something that’s different from competitors.